Tom Little just called to report 3 American Golden-plovers that were in the alfalfa field along the upper portion of Cessna Drive. He said that they were between the gravel drive that goes toward the chain link fence at Bell Bowl and the main airport chain link fence. Go back to Straight Shot express, then turn left on to the gravel drive. The birds were on the right in the mowed alfalfa.
Larry Balch and I stopped at the Rockford airport from 8:15-8:45a.m. today (8/15). We went out to Bell Bowl. Before we got out of the car, we could hear a singing Blue Grosbeak. A beautiful adult male was perched on the chain link fence about 100 feet west of the yellow posts at the west (runway) end of the prairie. Then, we heard first one, then another, Blue Grosbeak singing from the SE and E, respectively. We followed the sound a short way down the slope into the prairie and saw both birds, again adult males.
From the car, I heard a Yellow-breasted Chat song and a Bell’s Vireo song. As we moved down the prairie slope to look for the grosbeaks, we saw 2 Yellow-breasted Chats in the same shrubby tree with 3 Blue-gray Gnatcatchers, a Gray Catbird, and shortly, a Brown Thrasher. From behind us, we heard the Bell’s Vireo slightly upslope, and, after some patience working our way through several House Wrens in the same bush, the Bell’s finally moved out into view. As we watched it, a second Bell’s sounded off from downslope, but we didn’t try to find it visually.
We did not hear a Western Meadowlark, but we did hear and see an Eastern Meadowlark.
Yesterday, August 1, I found another Upland Sandpiper at the Rockford airport. It was in the same location as the other 2 I reported from last weekend. I was able to wait until other folks came out to see it and we all looked for it together with success.
Today, Phil Doncheck, Gary Jahnke and I stopped by the same alfalfa field about 3:30 p.m. to look for an Uppie. The light was difficult and we did not succeed in finding an Uppie, but we did find a singing male Blue Grosbeak (telescope views) and a Bell’s Vireo (heard only). I also heard a Chat sing, but it only called once. All of these birds were in the shrubbery line behind the chain link fence at the top of Bell Bowl.